Could you replace your phone with an Android camera?

Could you replace your phone with an Android camera?

The Samsung Galaxy Camera, which will be available next week in Australia, lets you do everything you can do on a smartphone except make calls.

Here’s a thought for your Friday: do you reckon you’d be able to get by on your smartphone if you didn’t have the ability to make calls on it?

The reason I ask is that I got my hands on the Samsung Galaxy Camera last Wednesday at the local media launch. A really interesting little device; it’s a full-fledged compact camera with a 16-megapixel sensor and 21x optical zoom, and it’s almost a full-fledged smartphone, sharing the same guts and display of a Galaxy S3, complete with the micro-SIM card slot for 3G connectivity and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. You just can’t make phone calls on it.

This got me thinking - do I even need the call capability on my smartphone? Could I just take my SIM card out of my current phone, stick in the Galaxy Camera, and use that as my ‘everyday’ handset?

I receive up to a dozen phone calls a day, but they’re usually work-related, and I prefer doing all that via email so I have a searchable record. Come to think of it, I prefer texting to phone calls when it comes to communicating with friends and family, too, and the Galaxy Camera supports this.

It’s come to the point that I actually get irritated when my phone rings.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera gives me an easy out. I could just tell people that I can’t receive calls any more. I’d put it on my voicemail and instruct people to email me or text me. Perhaps I could "train" people to stop calling me and use alternative modes of communication. Perhaps I could start a new anti-calling revolution!

Sadly, there are a few instances where I need to be able to make and receive phone calls. Emergencies are a big one, as I have an 18-month-old that’s overly fond of climbing onto high surfaces. Work is another - I have a few editors that still insist on talking me through new story ideas over the phone, and I occasionally get couriers calling me demanding to know where I am so they can drop reviews units off (never a bad thing!) or pick them up (sad face). Finally, there’s the all-important home delivery for food; all of the main pizza places now have dedicated apps for ordering (god bless them), but most other cuisine types require that you actually pick up the phone to order.

I think I’m going to try it anyway, and keep a second phone on-hand for emergencies. I could always use Skype if need be, as well. The Samsung Galaxy Camera will be available next week. Outright purchase price is $599, and Optus will be offering it for free on a range of plans.

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